The Latest: Scott orders investigation of election offices
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Florida election (all times local):
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is accusing election officials in two counties of trying to thwart the will of the voters, as recounts seem likely for several statewide races.
Scott said at a news conference Thursday night that he is ordering the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Under Florida law, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.
Scott, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate and held a 0.21 percentage lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson on Thursday afternoon. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis held a 0.47 percentage point lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Candidates for the Florida Cabinet position of agriculture commissioner where separated by less than 500 votes out of more than 8 million cast.
The Associated Press is closely monitoring the race for governor in Florida, where election officials continue to count absentee ballots.
AP on Tuesday called the election for Republican Ron DeSantis over Democrat Andrew Gillum. DeSantis holds a lead of 38,613 votes out of more than 8.2 million ballots counted — a margin of 0.47 percentage points.
Under Florida law, a recount is mandatory if the margin of the winning candidate is less than 0.5 percentage points when the first unofficial count is verified Saturday by Florida’s secretary of state.
Should that count show DeSantis with a margin of less than 0.5 percentage points, triggering a recount, AP will retract its call for DeSantis. It is AP policy not to call a race that is facing a recount.
If the race proceeds to a recount, no new call will be made until the recount is complete and the results of the election are certified by Florida officials.
Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign now says it’s prepared for a possible recount in the Florida governor race that he conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.
In a statement Thursday, Gillum’s campaign says it underestimated the ballots that still needed to be counted when he conceded.
The campaign says it’s monitoring the situation and preparing for a possible state-mandated recount.
Florida law requires a recount in races in which the winning margin is 0.5 percent or less, unless the trailing candidate says in writing that he or she doesn’t want a recount. Canvassing boards conduct the recount by running ballots through vote tabulation machines.
As of Wednesday morning, DeSantis led Gillum by 43,039 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast, or a difference of 0.526 of a percentage point.